The Power of Concentration, Part Two: Create the Life You Want, A Hampton Roads Collection

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Looking for The Next Draft? Looking for Screenwriting? Looking for Calligrpahy? Looking for A Grammar Refresher? Looking for A Punctuation Refresher? In this class, we will move toward uncovering the true stories about ourselves and the world and telling them well. We will learn, through published texts and writing exercises and assignments, how creative nonfiction writers include vivid characterization, narrative structure, dialogue, imagery, and voice to a wide range of stories, including memoir, personal essays, profile pieces, travelogues, literary journalism, and more.

We will address larger questions of form and substance--determining the scope of your memoir or nonfiction work, what story to tell, what to leave out--and will continue discussing craft issues such as writing scenes vs. We will continue studying the craft of writing and how to hone every page, paragraph, sentence, phrase. Each member of the group will have at least two to three opportunities to be critiqued during the session. Nonfiction in a Flash: Monday Evenings In this workshop, creative nonfiction and memoir writers will explore the genre of flash creative nonfiction between and 1, words.

We will discuss and discover the many craft elements that make flash nonfiction an engaging, experimental and exciting genre! Every session we will generate and critique our small memoir and nonfiction stories and essays and focus on the unique opportunities that flash gives every creative nonfiction writer.

Working in a shorter form allows you take a fresh look at your work; you will also find ways to tighten your prose, to better focus and shape your story into something resonant and necessary. Nonfiction in a Flash: Monday Mornings In this workshop, creative nonfiction and memoir writers will explore the genre of flash creative nonfiction between and 1, words.

Mondays 10 a. We'll continue to shape experiences and their meanings on the page; discuss higher level elements of craft and structures; and create strategies for revision. Looking for Write Now? Using a "Character Development Tool" provided in class, students will have time to write characters with one or more mental health problems.

Saturday, October 5, 10 a. Or maybe you already have a great synopsis--but how do you convert that into ninety-thousand words? In this workshop we'll explore a near-effortless way to take a simple idea and build it into a story of any length and genre, fiction or nonfiction. Whether you write novels, short stories, or screenplays, Snowflake is the best way to create the foundation for your work. If you're a "pantser" this workshop will change your life!

If you're a plotter, there's a If you're a vedic poet, results may vary.

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A Grammar Refresher Who, whom do you think should take this workshop? Each of the writers who has, have problems with grammar. This session will help you refresh your grammar knowledge and polish your writing skills, so you will make less, fewer mistakes. Creating a Web Presence and Blog Are you ready to launch your writing career?

Whether you are already published and need to create an online portfolio, or you are just getting started and would like to begin blogging, an author website and blog will help you begin to build your online platform. Students should plan to bring a laptop to class to complete in-class exercises. Settings: More Than Just a Time and Place Settings are where our stories happen, locating our readers in time and space. They are the scenery in which our characters live and breathe. But how can the setting of your story can lift your work from mundane to compelling? We all know great settings when we see them.

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The train in the opening of "The Book Thief. The Elemental Characteristics of Story This seminar will focus on how fiction makes use of story, which is one of the primary experiences of human life. As far as we know, no other living creature creates stories, although they do have brains that remember.

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The symbology of language makes the creation of story possible. In a real sense, story "exists" as a genre because human beings have chosen to apply language to their actions in learned and perhaps permanent ways.


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In-class exercises will analyze professional examples, and help you gain insight of the power of story in prose, poetry, song lyrics, stage plays and films, and use that insight to strengthen your work. Saturday, October 19, p. Imagine all of the benchmarks of a classic mystery: breadcrumb clues, red herrings, the twist ending. Now imagine all of that crammed into a mere pages.

Come join us for a discussion on the craft of mystery in short story format. We will be using examples from the work of William Gay, Sarah Cortez, and more. You will also be able to bring copies of your own mysterious short story an excerpt no more than 10 pages double-spaced , for review and critique. Tools of the Trade: Building a Fantasy World Why do so many fantasy novels take place in the same, medieval, pseudo-European setting? How can writers create unique, fully-realized environments that readers will want to get lost in?

Dive into techniques for architecting your own world and learn how elements such as geography, technology, economics, weather, government, culture and more are all integral to crafting a tale designed to delight. Expect to leave the seminar with the building blocks of your own fantasy world as well as a plan for fleshing out your creation while not getting lost in the details. Writing the Next Draft The passion of the first draft is behind you, but what is this awkward, unfamiliar thing it has left behind?

While the first draft is a burst of unbridled inspiration, the second draft is where the writing really takes shape. In this hands-on seminar, we will look at the first draft of your finished stories and discuss the choices you must make to push your raw fiction towards completion. We will look at summary and scene-making, cutting and expanding, and the careful refinement of language and voice.

Most importantly, we will try out strategies to help us discover what the story really is--not necessarily what we wanted, but what is staring back at us from the page.

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We will also discuss how this kind of work on a short story can be adapted to novels. All writers need to bring a recent first draft of a story to the class. Saturday, November 2, 10 a. Who Is That? Yet it becomes the making of your story. To sneak up on such a bold spirit, we need to consider shades of timing, cadence, and texture; eavesdrop on innocent bystanders to sharpen our skills; and learn to listen to our characters when they start to talk to us, even criticize us. The Nuts and Bolts of Scrivener Scrivener is a streamlined and user friendly word processor that offers more to the writer than Microsoft Word or Mac Pages ever could.

You can organize your books, chapters, short stories, scenes, character sheets, setting descriptions, outlines, and anything else you can think of all in one easy-to-access document, which allows you to seamlessly switch between each element. To use the program to its full capacity, new users to the program need to know where to start.

And experienced users are often unaware of the near-limitless customization and treasure trove of advanced features available to them. Combining visual and hands-on exercises, this seminar will teach you the basics of this amazing program and allow your writing projects to soar. This is for people with little to no experience in Scrivener.

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Participants must own a copy of Scrivener, to be brought to the meeting on a laptop. The program is available on the App Store, Microsoft Marketplace, and via their website: www. Lovecraft, a horror tale possesses "a certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces. Why do we like to read and write about such an unpleasant experience? Can we describe the strange, even perverse pleasure we associate with stories of monsters, demons, zombies, mad-scientists, and brain-harvesting aliens?

These questions will center our seminar on writing horror fiction.

Students should expect a brief survey of classic horror fiction; additionally, students will compose three flash fictions in the horror genre that they can later expand. Students will also receive information about current markets for short fiction in horror.

Can you imagine reading a story with no punctuation? It would be like driving with no traffic signs to guide you. Those little commas, semicolons, apostrophes, hyphens, quotation marks and periods help us navigate written work. Correct use of punctuation marks is governed by specific rules. Learn them in this seminar. Writing Around Our Gaps in Memory Memoir writers often need to write around the blank spaces in our memories and create a cogent narrative despite that fallibility.


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Saturday, November 16, 10 a. Writing Great Scenes The Scene is the essential building block of stories. Everyone talks about a scenes. Adding them. Deleting them. So, exactly what constitutes a great scene? Is it length? Do you need a minimum number of characters?